Apple, Avid won't be at NAB

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If you've been to a recent National Association of Broadcasters convention, you know that two fierce competitors--Avid Technology and Apple--have stood at the entrance to the post-production exhbits in the Las Vegas Convention Center's South Hall.

This year, the largest annual exhibition for broadcast and production technology will look very different in that hall. Apple has confirmed that it will not have a booth at the 2008 NAB Show, April 11-17. Avid had pulled out last November, saying it would redirect that spend to more "customer-focused" activities.

As to the latest news, Apple spokesperson Anuj Nayar explained: "Apple is participating in fewer trade shows every year, because often there are just better ways for us to reach our customers. For example, the increased popularity of Apple's retail stores and our web site allow us to directly reach more than 100 million customers around the world in innovative new ways."

But with the two leading nonlinear editing system manufacturers off the floor, how might that impact the attendance of editors, who typically focus on the stands of Avid and Apple?

"We are still going to have a huge post-production presence with companies like Quantel, Adobe, Autodesk, Media 100..." asserted NAB executive vp Dennis Wharton. "We are tracking that our attendance is on par with last year." (In 2007, NAB reported 111,028 in attendance.) Added Wharton: "We are working with Apple and Avid to make sure they have a presence (perhaps in the conference or through training)."

In contrast, Herb Dow, ACE, said: "I think it will impact attendance of editors tremendously. The two main tools that they use won't be there. ... There will be fewer editors going because of (the impact of) the strike, and even less with (Avid and Apple absent)."

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